Web API Security

Penetration Testing Tips For Web API Security


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In recent weeks, several Amazon Web service breaches expose types of vulnerabilities, including leaky S3 buckets, MS configuration, and negotiated AWS web API security. Techniques used for estimating these vulnerabilities and strategies for an attack are particular to AWS cloud and lack specific knowledge and approach. This post covers some double penetration testing essentials for organizations were seeking to improve their security and reduce the chances of a breach.

However, we need to note that because of legal considerations of a cloud environment penetrating, API gateway security should focus on user on assets, identify and access management user permissions configuration, and use of AWS web API security integrated into the ecosystem. For example, targeting and jeopardizing AWS IAM keys, testing S3 bucket configuration and permission flaws, establishing access through lambda backdoor functions, and covering tracks by skating cloud trail logs. This approach suggests that the client-side components are tested and not the actual API gateway security instance.

Why Penetrating AWS Matters?

The rapid adoption of AWS services has contributed to the complexity of enterprise environments. As a result, companies find it more important to challenge the existing AWS security measures for immediately identifying potential issues. Here are some new scenarios which help illustrate why penetration testing in the AWS environment is so important to maintain security:

  1. A flawed understanding of the shared responsibility model indicates organizations to minimize the risk they are responsible for.
  2. Failures across basic AWS security checks, including wide security groups and excessive permissions.
  3. Failures in multi-factor authentication requirements, implementation, or operation. The latter is especially irritating when thinking about how powerful social engineering attacks, credential sharing, and privilege escalation are.
  4. Extending compilers requirements reporting and visibility to the cloud for maintaining compilers efforts that will impact the data center. Organizations are required to take steps for highlighting, resolving, and remediating any compilers gaps that affect their applications, infrastructure, and operating systems.
  5. Addressing zero-day vulnerability as identification and remediation of zero-day vulnerability is are crucial for maintaining a good security posture in the cloud.

Validating the AWS security implementation in the cloud should be considered part of a comprehensive security plan. As part of supporting the shared responsibility model, AWS is designed to recognize organizations’ need to penetration test the applications, instances, and operating systems. 

AWS API gateway security has an approved program for permitting penetration testing by partnering with an organization familiar with the program. The rules that govern it as a critical success factor used for organizations need to look for when considering an engagement.

How Do AWS Methodologies Differ from Traditional Penetration Testing?

Methodologies used for penetration testing traditional security infrastructure and the AWS cloud differ in a multitude of ways. The majority of these differences refer back to the ownership of the systems. Since Amazon owns the core infrastructure, the methodology invoked in traditional practices would violate the API penetration testing tools user policies and potentially work incident response procedures by the AWS security team.

The Complexity of the AWS Cloud Makes Security a Challenge

Over 90 different cloud hosting services, including compute and storage, content delivery, security management, network infrastructure, and physical hosting facility for tenant organizations, are offered by Amazon Web services. 

Benefits of using AWS cloud services include the ability to quickly and efficiently scale web service needs on a reliable and flexible platform. At the same time, organizations are required to offload the maintenance and upfront fixed costs associated with network-connected hardware.

Via the underline AWS platform could not be when tested. You must try to configure your organization on the AWS platform, and the additional application code for assets living in your environment could also be tested.

Top 5 Vulnerabilities to Test for in AWS

While there are several common API penetration testing tools specific vulnerabilities we could often see, some are more regular than others. Below are the top five vulnerabilities we could see when testing against this architecture:

  1. Testing S3 bucket configuration and permissions flaws.
  2. Targeting and compromising AWS IAM keys.
  3. Cloudfront/WAF MS configuration bypasses.
  4. Establishing private cloud access through lambda backdoor functions.
  5. Cover tracks by obfuscating cloud trail logs.

When partnering with a penetration testing provider, we should be sure to understand their approach and their and deliverables for ensuring that they will find rest no matter to our business and share that detail in a way that enables our organization to take action.

Pentest AWS
Pentest AWS

How Can we Pentest AWS?

Aw permits security testing for user-operated services, including cloud offerings created and configure rated by the user. Here are a few examples:

  1. AWS EC2 instance excluding tactics is related to the distraction of business continuity, such as launching denial of service attacks.
  2. Implementation and configuration of a vendor operated services.
  3. Amazon Web services such as CloudFront and API gateway configuration could be contested, but the hosting infrastructure could get off-limits.
  4. Areas of the AWS elastic cloud computing service including:
    1. The application programming interface (API).
    2. Our organization hosts various web and mobile applications.
    3. Application server and associated stack.
  5. Virtual machines and operating systems.

It is not an exhaustive list of what could be pentested. However, these areas generally include during pentest rest API. With these five tests, organizations could identify and close significant gaps in their security approach.

What Can be Tested in the AWS Cloud?

The majority of AWS services are based on the software as a service model, indicating that the end-user is not required to own the environment and cannot pentest rest API in the same way as a traditional on-premise environment or infrastructure as a service model. However, SaaS services configuration and identity can be tested using a black box engagement or security audit. Different things that could not be pen tested within the AWS cloud because of legal and technological constraints are:

  1. Services or applications that belong to AWS.
  2. Physical hardware, underlying infrastructure facilities that belong to AWS.
  3. EC2 environments belonging to other organizations
  4. Different vendors manage security appliances without their permission.


AWS web API security environments are often highly complex, and securing data in the cloud could be difficult. Penetration testing is a significant step for maintaining compile and introducing our footprints. As part of our overall cloud strategy, we should make penetration testing a priority and work with a parameter that knows the ropes very well.

Also Read: Penetration Testing Tools

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